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Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Long-Term Recovery Planning: What You Need to Know

By ACFEI Staff2, CHS-III      ( 0 ) Comments   |   Published On Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery Long-Term Recovery Planning: What You Need to Know

Emergency Management reports:

One day something large and very bad will happen in Los Angeles. That’s a given. With training and preparation, emergency managers will be ready to respond on that day. What comes next, however, is a topic seldom discussed.

Whether in advance of a crisis or in the wake of a disaster, long-term planning is both vital and often overlooked. How will the community survive and thrive 10 years down the road, or 20 years?

“The thing about that kind of recovery is the fact that it is so big. It is so difficult for people to wrap their heads around, thinking of everybody that is involved and what their role is going to be,” said Ryan Rockabrand, program specialist in the Office of Emergency Management for Los Angeles County.

And yet the work must be done. How does long-term planning happen? It starts with partnership-building, encompasses economic revitalization and ultimately keeps a community viable. It’s up to emergency management to bring all those pieces together…

Money Comes First

It would be nice to be able to say, “Here’s what goes into a long-term plan.” But that’s not the case. “It’s really hard to say in the abstract,” said James C. Schwab, manager of the Hazards Planning Research Center of the American Planning Association. “It’s going to depend on the type, size and scale of the disaster, the spectrum of damages. All these will have a significant impact on the recovery choices you are going to make.”

For any given disaster, the extent and the form of the damage can vary widely, which will directly impact how long-term recovery is organized. Even for communities with mature recovery plans, the unexpected will often call for revisions on the fly.

That being said, there are some things that can be assumed in the broadest sense, first among these being that economic redevelopment will play a central role in recovery over the long haul.

A principal associate with planning and development consultancy Hamilton Swift and Associates, Charles Eadie led long-term recovery of Santa Cruz, Calif., after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake when economic recovery played a central role. “The issue was primarily that the beloved downtown, a historic district, was devastated in both a commercial and aesthetic point of view. There are 1 million square feet, and a third of it was demolished, a third was OK and a third was in between,” he said. “It left gaping holes in the downtown.”

It took 18 months to forge a plan that would combine insurance money, government investment and private spending with an eye toward rebuilding. “Recovery is really about one thing: It’s about investment and reinvestment,” Eadie said.

To read the full article, see: Emergency Management http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Developing-Long-Term-Recovery-Plan.html?page=2&



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